“May your light never go out” – a blessing
YHWH gave a command to Aaron and Israel. Never allow His light to go out in the tabernacle. It was the priest’s job to keep the lamp in the tabernacle lit at all times. His light is to shine in the darkness, never consumed or put out. His light is to shine at all times and for all times. It is a beacon of hope to the world. It is holy to the LORD.
In the same way, the priest is to take fine flour and bake 12 loaves of bread and place them on the pure (gold) table in the presence of YHWH. These 12 loaves are to be continually before him, to be eaten by Aaron and his descendants and then replenished every Sabbath. They are holy to the LORD.
More than that, the Name of the LORD is holy. When a man blasphemes the Name of the LORD, there are consequences. It becomes a death sentence. To dishonor the Name of the LORD is to dishonor the LORD. That cannnot be allowed in the camp and presence of God. YHWH is not going to strike down every person who says something negative about Him, but He does expect His people to respond appropriately. He is the LORD, and His name is Holy.
Do we treat YHWH and His name as holy. Are we a light that never goes out, or are we on and off and on and off. Do we point to the bread of life, or only to ourselves?
If things weren’t deep and passionate before, there is a whole lot of that going on now! The plagues keep getting more and more intense and powerful, and Pharaoh’s frustration and anger are getting worse and worse.
Pharaoh is doing everything he can to attempt to delay or stop the inevitable, but he just can’t stop YHWH. I kind of feel bad for the guy. But at the same time, i know why this is happening, and his involvement / responsibility in it. It’s kind of like working with troubled youth. Sometimes the only way they learn is to allow them to learn and understand the consequences of their actions. Explaining it to them, processing it with them and protecting them from it can only get you so far. Sometimes you just need to let them see, and until they see they will not understand.
You can see Pharaoh’s will / resolve start to soften in this chapter, but Pharaoh is not a man to change easily or lightly. Nor is he a man likely to accept defeat. God continues to harden an already hard heart. Pharaoh continues to attempt to compromise with God, but the cost of that compromise is much higher than the cost of the original price.
How do you help a man who is so insistent that he wins, that he is willing to destroy himself and everything around him in order to do so? How do you open the eyes of a man so blinded by his own pride and rebellion that he thinks he can stand against God? What drives a man to become what you see before you? Yes, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and yes, God had every right to do that! But the truth is, He didn’t need to. Pharaoh was so intent on doing it to himself that he did not need any real help from God.
How do help a man like that?
Every time i read this i see the parallels throughout history; Pharaoh has the Israelite babies killed because the Israelites are becoming too numerous and they might hinder his prosperity. When the people of Israel entered the promised land and did not remove all of the inhabitants the worship of Molech continued. As a result, the Israelites began sacrificing their firstborn child to Molech so that they would be blessed with prosperity. King Herod had all of the newborns from the town of Bethlehem killed because one of them was to be a king which would affect him and his prosperity. Today it is acceptable for people the world over to kill off our own baby if it’s life is going to be an inconvenience to its mother. …if it’s life might hinder the mother’s chance for “prosperity”.
There are other instances of this in history as well. It really makes me wonder; are we fighting new battles, or are they the same old battles with the same old enemy just expressed in a new way? Ephesians 6:12 says “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
When we are fighting for the lives of our children, who is the battle really against? Is it against those people who would take the lives of our children for a profit? Is it against those who would choose to end their child’s lives because their child is an inconvenience to their own life? Or is the battle much more than that? Are we battling against flesh and blood, or are we battling against spiritual forces that have been waging this war for millennia? Is this a war about “choice” or is it much deeper than that? If it is a deeper level battle, then what?